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Best 20 Dark Academia Fashion Brands You Need to Check Out and Outfit Ideas

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Dark academia fashion has become quite popular and many are looking for the right brands to give this aesthetic a try. If you find dark academia fashion more and more interesting by the minute, today we will provide a comprehensive list of brands so you can find the best pieces.

What is dark academia fashion?

Dark academia fashion is an aesthetic style that's inspired by writing, classic Greek arts, architecture, and it's infused with Gothic elements. In other words, dark academia fashion is a darker version of the academia aesthetic and it's characterized by trousers, crisp linen shirts, tweed blazers, and more. Finding outfits ideas won't be difficult and the goal is to go for a literary/gothic vibe.

This fashion trend is all the rage in 2021 and many people are attracted to the aesthetic. The outfits are tasteful, elegant, and even though the pieces are basic, they are versatile enough to allow people to stand out. You'll feel smart and confident, so if you want to give this aesthetic a try, this article will be very helpful. 

TikTok #darkacademia hashtag has had a huge hand in cultivating an environment where subcultures can thrive, which is why dark academia fashion has been on the rise and more people are jumping on the bandwagon. Today, we will introduce you to some of the hottest retailers that offer dark academia fashion items so you can explore the aesthetic and build amazing outfits!

Where do I get dark academia clothing?

Best 20 Dark Academia Fashion Brands Recommendation

1. Uniqlo

Pricing: $30-$70

First, we got Uniqlo, one of the best brands to find dark academia fashion that's good quality and not too expensive. I like it offers a great variety of items! I recommend this turtleneck sweater because it is versatile and will easily become a staple in your dark academia wardrobe.

WOMEN EXTRA FINE MERINO RIBBED TURTLENECK SWEATER

WOMEN EXTRA FINE MERINO RIBBED TURTLENECK SWEATER

You can also check out the blazers and trench coats. You could sort through the other coats to get to them. Uniqlo prices are really affordable, I’m still amazed by how great the outerwear is (usually well under $100 and sometimes under $50!). 

2. Nasty Gal

Pricing: $15-$50

Though Nasty Gal is known for super trendy items, they offer dark academia fashion items that are very affordable. If you're on a budget, this is the store for you! I recommend this check blazer, perfect for a smart outfit. 

Blue Heritage Check Blazer

Blue Heritage Check Blazer

Nasty Gal's price is very affordable! I especially like the shoes that are all under $50. I just purchased 4 pairs of boots for $30 each! You can find items for anything from $10-$50. 

3. H&M

Pricing: $30-$40

H&M is another affordable option and it's one of my favorites for dark academia fashion. I love their items because they are oversized yet tailored and there are many great options. I recommend these wide-leg crease pants, a classic!

Wide-leg Creased Pants

Wide-leg Creased Pants

H&M also offers a variety of blazers and sweaters. They're oversized, cozy and the best is affordable. Although there are some items on the looser side, so you need to check carefully at the dark academia fashion style.

4. Madewell

Pricing: $60-$120

Madewell is a good store to find accent pieces of dark academia fashion. Though it's not the place to find the basics, you will find many lovely pieces. I recommend this button-down oxford shirt. 

Shrunken Button-Down Oxford Shirt

Shrunken Button-Down Oxford Shirt

Also, Madewell offers so many cute dresses with neutral flower prints. They match well under dark blazers or coats with some classic boots and thighs. 

5. Brandy Melville

Pricing: $50-$100

Brandy Melville is well-known on TikTok because it's the place to find cute dark academia fashion basics. Best part? They're affordable! I recommend this lovely cable knit sweater vest, a piece everyone should have. 

MARLENA COTTON CABLE KNIT SWEATER VEST

MARLENA COTTON CABLE KNIT SWEATER VEST

Also, you can check out the cardigans, turtlenecks, sweater vests, and collared shirts and dresses at Brandy Mellville. You could find great classic academia fashion pieces in these categories.

6. ASOS

Pricing: $30-$100

Next, we have ASOS, an inclusive brand that offers dark academia fashion pieces so you can build a nice little wardrobe. I recommend this babydoll shirt dress, but you'll find many other pieces to fit the aesthetic. 

Madewell denim long sleeve babydoll shirt dress in black

Madewell denim long sleeve babydoll shirt dress in black

ASOS truly embraces everyone by having petite, tall, pregnant and curvy section. They definitely have some dark academia options, too, like the shirt dress (as shown above). I would check their coats and jackets, their hoodies & sweatshirts.

7. Pixie Market

Pricing: $60-$150

Pixie Market is not only committed to sustainability, but they also provide timeless pieces and it's the perfect place to find dark academia fashion that will last. The pieces are expensive, but you have to look at them as an investment. I recommend this pleated skirt, perfect for many different outfits. 

BLACK WOOL PLEATED SKIRT

BLACK WOOL PLEATED SKIRT

The pixie market has always had truly amazing fashion, but you'll stick with major pieces for a long time. You could also check out their best seller section where they offer everything from dresses to sweaters. 

8. Anthropologie

Pricing: $80-$150

This is another expensive brand but they make unique pieces and offer great dark academia fashion options. Once again, this is an investment in high-quality, long-lasting pieces. I recommend these lug sole loafers for a classic dark academia look.

Plaid Lug Sole Loafers

Plaid Lug Sole Loafers

This brand always offers the most unique and classic clothing. So with the price point, I suggest you purchase more basic items that won't go out of style. You could also check out their sweaters and pants

9. Urban Outfitters

Pricing: $50-$100

Next, we have Urban Outfitters, where you can find dark academia fashion pieces if you look well enough. The prices vary quite a bit, but you can find affordable items. I recommend this plaid pleated mini skirt and it's available in different colors.

Urban Renewal Recycled Pleated Mini Skirt

Urban Renewal Recycled Pleated Mini Skirt

Urban Outfitters is always hip (sometimes too hip).

They usually have a wide selection of clothes at different price points. When buying Dark Academia, I would go with the more classic UO titles. That way they can stay in fashion longer. Check out their back-to-school collection and their vintage section.      

10. Aritzia

Pricing: $100-$200

Aritzia is hot at the moment and it's an expensive brand but it's worth it. The dark academia fashion pieces are exquisite and they will last. I recommend this gorgeous cardigan, available in two beautiful colors. 

Nora Cardigan

Nora Cardigan

I have been personally obsessed with Aritzia for years. Growing up, it was really the only store where I lived that offered trendy fashion choices. About dark academia items, you could also check out their blouses and blazers

11. Frank & Oak

Pricing: $30-$100

Frank & Oak is another amazing brand where you'll find dark academia fashion. Their clothing is made of sustainable materials and they are of good quality. I recommend these corduroy pants in white, for a wide variety of outfits. 

The Amelia Corduroy Pant in White Pepper

The Amelia Corduroy Pant in White Pepper

This Canadian company is really committed to sustainability. Their clothes are made from high-quality sustainable materials and are really durable. You could also check out their best seller section for a lot of closet staples. 

12. Zara

Pricing: $40-$100

We can't make a list about dark academia fashion and not include Zara. They offer a great variety of pieces and they are affordable, so you can build a nice wardrobe. I recommend this striped knit sweater, a basic piece with endless combinations.

STRIPED KNIT SWEATER

STRIPED KNIT SWEATER

Zara has a ton of items that would be perfect for a dark academia wardrobe.  I will recommend to check out their Blazer and Blouses.

13. Topshop

Pricing: $30-$200

Topshop, which is available through ASOS and other stores, will help you find lovely dark academia fashion pieces and they won't be too expensive. I recommend this coat, which will complement any dark academia outfit very well. 

Topshop twill shacket in khaki

Topshop twill shacket in khaki

My only complaint with Topshop is that they are too trendy. Make sure you're wearing something more stylish (for true dark academic fashion) and stick to one or two trendy items per outfit. Their coats are pretty well for your dark academia fashion options.

14. Mango

Pricing: $50-$100

Mango is another favorite and they have plenty of dark academia fashion options. Every piece is tasteful and of great quality. The best part is that shopping at Mango won't break the bank. I recommend this buttoned textured dress, which is very versatile and comfortable. 

Buttoned textured dress

 Buttoned textured dress

Cardigans and sweaters are also sweet. I recommend choosing a neutral color, as Mango tends to change color with the season.

15. Nordstrom

Pricing: $30-$200

Nordstrom carries many different brands, so you will find many great options for dark academia fashion. They are a bit on the expensive side, but it will be worth your money. I recommend this plaid blazer, a must for any dark academia wardrobe.

Easy Plaid Blazer

Easy Plaid Blazer

Also, you could check out their sweaters, and skirts at your acceptable price. 

16. Dynamite

Pricing: $30-$100

Next, we have Dynamite, a Canadian brand that offers good quality items and affordable prices. You will find many dark academia fashion pieces here, particularly cardigans, blouses, sweaters, and blazers. I recommend this exquisite ribbed sweater!

Ribbed Sweater

Ribbed Sweater

I have purchased so many clothes from Dynamite, their clothes are very high-quality and last a really long time. You could mix and match some great items of Dynamite, which will give you an amazing feeling. 

17. Everlane

pricing: $50-$200

Everlane is a great place to find modern essentials and timeless pieces, so you will find great options for dark academia fashion. Their clothing is a bit expensive but still affordable. I recommend these way-high drape pants, which are such a nice fit. 

The Way-High Drape Pant

The Way-High Drape Pant

They have pieces of dark academia fashion items that you can wear year over year. You could check out their sweaters and outwear sections. 

18. J.Crew

Pricing: $50-$200

J.Crew is another great option and they're known for their preppy aesthetic. However, you can find many great dark academia fashion pieces for your outfits. It will be a bit expensive, but worth it for the quality. I recommend this gauze button-up shirt, a very elegant piece. 

Classic-fit cozy gauze shirt

Classic-fit cozy gauze shirt

You can also find some cute dark academia outfits ideas here. Checking out their skirts and sweaters to perfect your wardrobe. 

19. Oak + Fort

Pricing: $50-$100

Oak + Fort is a nice brand and they are also known for their preppy style, but they have great dark academia fashion options for a nice wardrobe. I recommend this floral print ruffled skirt, which is so tasteful. 

FLORAL PRINT RUFFLED SKIRT

FLORAL PRINT RUFFLED SKIRT

Oak + Fort is an underrated brand with so many lovely clothes! All their clothes are in fashion. They have so many awesome options for you to create your dark academia outfits. You can check out the Sweaters and Outwear

20. Storets

Pricing: $50-$100

Last but not least, we have Storets, where you'll find sophisticated pieces that are perfect for a dark academia fashion wardrobe. Plus, they have affordable prices. I recommend this wrap-effect overall dress!

Sadie Wrap Effect Overall Dress

Sadie Wrap Effect Overall Dress

Storets' prices are also good, in the middle of the range. However, their clothes are well made. I recommend start checking out their outwear pieces.

Frequently Asked Questions About Dark Academia Fashion

Q: How do I dress like dark academia?

A: The secret to adopting dark academia fashion is to create aesthetic outfits using basics such as collared shirts, sweaters, button-up shorts, linen button-ups, trousers, paper-bag shorts, skirts, and linen dresses or neutral babydoll dresses. Blazers and sweater vests are also common pieces and, when it comes to shoes, stick to ankle boots, Oxfords, canvas shoes, or flats in dark colors. 

Q: Is dark academia fashion unhealthy?

A: The dark academia scene is perceived as unhealthy by many because it lacks diversity, it tends to romanticize mental illness as well as bad habits such as caffeine addiction and lack of sleep and it also tends to idealize depressive and obsessive behaviors. Dark academics can also act like they are better than other people because they read more, which is not a healthy narrative to spread. 

Q: Is dark academia fashion expensive?

A: Dark academia fashion can be expensive, but you can find very affordable pieces. On average, you can find dark academia pieces from $30 to $100 or more. You can create a dark academia wardrobe on a budget, don't worry!

I hope you love these 20 dark academia fashion brands' recommendations. These should definitely help you find more dark academia clothing ideas to perfect your closet!

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